Saturday, August 07, 2010

Farm Bulletin, Pt. 1: Star Turn

Sometimes it's reassuring to know that I'm not the only one who's a little cuckoo about my pets. In Part One, contributor Anthony Boutard of Ayers Creek Farm gives me yet another reason, besides the recipes, to add a couple of new releases to my cookbook collection.

We have always suspected that our Tito (top) was once a model. Tiring of endless photo shoots and trotting down the runway, and inspired by Jackie and Roy's sweet rendition of Wilder's "It's so Peaceful in the Country," he sought out the simple rewards of rural life. A little naive, he fell upon hard times and was abandoned. He was picked up on the streets of Newberg and sent to the shelter where we found him. He hates the heat, loves drizzle, takes umbrage at the slightest whiff of a coyote and is a successful hunter of ground squirrels and voles. He considers himself a working dog, and who are we to disabuse him of that conceit?

He still has his modeling moves, and they are in good form in the new edition of Debra Daniels-Zeller's "The Northwest Vegetarian Cookbook,"published by Timber Press. There is also a nice profile of Tito's companions as well. Debra caught the way nature is left to creep into the managed landscape at Ayers Creek, and how the rows and orchards are now quite as clearly delineated as in other farms. And for those feeding a vegetarian, there a a bunch good recipes attuned to the northwest's harvest schedule.

Fortunately, Deborah Madison has many friends in Portland, and occasionally she has a moment to visit the farm. This spring, we had a good time with her at the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) meeting in Portland, where she interviewed us about growing and harvesting fruit. The occasion was the release of her new cookbook, "Seasonal Fruit Desserts: From Orchard, Farm, and Market,"published by Broadway Books.  Deborah provides us with many imaginative fruit desserts.

We enjoy reading kind words about our work, and Tito. We are also keenly aware that the farm is only as good next berry picked. You all keep us and our staff on our toes.

Photo of Tito by Debra Daniels-Zeller.


Debra Daniels Zeller said...

I was so tickled to see this blog post. I just stopped by the Boutard's farm booth yesterday and had a conversation about Tito's former life as a model before purchasing some of their amazing offerings--frikeh, fenugreek greens and Amish Butter Popcorn.

kab said...

What a treat! Visiting a farmer at the farmers' market is fun, but seeing them in situ is a much fuller experience!